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Geographic variation in mortgage discrimination: Evidence from Los Angeles

Citation: Urban Geography, 2000, 21, 1, 45-60

This paper addresses the question of racial and ethnic discrimination and geographic redlining in Los Angeles County mortgage markets using 1990 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data on mortgage applications and U.S. Census Bureau Summary Tape Files for tract-level sociodemographic and housing data. Logit models of the probabilty that a mortgage application will be approved show across-the board discrimination against Black applicants but not against Hispanic applicants. Applicants in both Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, however, are systematically denied loans, even when controlling for neighborhood socioeconomic differences. Finally, the joint contingency of applicant race/ethnicity and neighborhood race/ethnic context plays a significant role in determining mortgage application outcomes: both Black and Hispanic applicants are more likely to have their applications approved when they apply in predominantly Black neighborhoods.


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